Here’s the latest news in the GOP 2012 Presidential nomination run:
Despite not having the money of a Romney or the star power of a Palin, it appears that former Governor Mike Huckabee is solidifying his mantle as the frontrunner when it comes to current candidates. Politico reports:
Mike Huckabee is in a position most politicians would die for.
In the latest Gallup Poll released Friday, he’s the Republican leader, ahead of 16 other presidential prospects. Regardless of what’s being polled, who’s doing the polling or how the question is asked, among Republicans Huckabee typically finishes on top.
Who is best liked? Mike Huckabee.
Whom do Fox News viewers favor? Mike Huckabee.
Who does the South want to be president? Mike Huckabee.
Poll the early primary states, and the former Arkansas governor is winning. Match up any of the 2012 contenders with President Barack Obama, and Huckabee usually runs strongest.
For a potential candidate who doesn’t do a whole lot of actual campaigning — and who most insiders believe will not run for the White House — Huckabee occupies a surprisingly dominant position.
“Huckabee’s the only one of the top Republicans who has the combination of electability and base appeal it’s going to take to beat Barack Obama,” wrote Tom Jensen of the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling in January. “A lot will change over the course of 2011, but at least based on the information we have so far, Huckabee looks like the GOP’s best bet.”
Perhaps because the biggest frontrunner in the campaign is someone that most believe really isn’t going to actually run for office, many Republicans are still keeping their eye out for a new candidate. Sen. Jim DeMint is in fact nearly begging other contenders to please, just run already. Via the Caucus:
Jim DeMint of South Carolina is not interested in running for the Republican presidential nomination, but he said Saturday that the presumed field might not be sufficient to inspire voters and he would welcome a last-minute entry by another candidate.
“If no one is an immediate front-runner,” Mr. DeMint said, “I think you might see a whole new cast of Republican candidates out within the next couple of months.”
He declined to say whom he would like to enter the race, but he praised the work of new Republican governors, particularly Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. (Mr. Christie has repeatedly said he has no interest in running, but has boasted that he would fare well if he did.)
“I’m not going to mention any more names,” Mr. DeMint said in an interview here. “But I think there are a lot of names out there bubbling around, particularly governors who have realized that doing basic common-sense things tend to inspire Americans today.”
One name DeMint likely had no intention of throwing out: former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Probably because no one knows who he is. But they will — he’s said he’s running.
Gary Johnson will formally announce his candidacy for president in April while stumping in New Hampshire, an adviser told POLITICO.
The former New Mexico governor will skip the step of creating an exploratory committee, opting for an immediate start to his bid for the GOP nomination.
A libertarian-leaning Republican who supports gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana, Johnson occupies much of the same political space as Ron Paul, the Texas congressman who ran in 2008 and is considering another bid. Starting a campaign in April could provide such backdrops as the April 15 Tax Day and the annual April 20 push for legalizing marijuana.
An immediate start makes sense. The first thing he’ll probably have to do is work on name recognition.
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